Nearly two years after the last Penguin Refresh, Google has finally baked Penguin 4.0 into the core algorithm . What this means to the millions of webmasters that have been under Penguin’s thumb for the past two years, is still unclear, as the full impact will only be felt as Google completes a recrawl of the web
In theory, those websites that have been waiting for a refresh should finally get the reprieve they have been begging for. Practically speaking, its entirely possible that a lot of people will be disappointed, as they never resumed link building after being penalized. This failure to replace bad links with good ones is likely to lead to a lot of disappointment in this update
That said, I’m not convinced this roll-out is just starting now. There has been a lot of ranking volatility reported by Mozcast, and other tools that record turbulence in the Google algorithm. Rankings have been pretty volatile post Labor Day, which is when i suspect the roll-out truly started. There has also been a lot more crawling activity showing up in many Search Console accounts.
One notable change : “Penguin is now more granular. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”
I assume that means that we will see more hits at the page level, but it would be pretty unusual for a website to be utilizing spammy techniques at a granular level. It’s usually a matter of being all in on one link scheme or another.
On the positive side, a Real Time Google Penguin Algorithm implies that one can recover rankings much sooner, than before.
Link Risk Management or proactive link audits and disavows are more important than ever. You need to keep a close eye on your backlink profile. Disavow bad links regularly and focus on building only high quality links.
The bottom line is this: Quality is king and link relevance has replaced PR as the gold standard for link acquisition. Focus on those things and everything will be Okay